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David Duarte
David Duarte




David Duarte, an accomplished music educator and classical saxophonist, brings a rich history of excellence and innovation to music education. Born in Phoenix, Arizona, Duarte holds a Bachelor’s degree from The University of Arizona and a Master’s degree from The University of New Mexico. His professional journey includes serving as the Director of Bands at Washougal High School in Washington.

Duarte’s teaching career includes his tenure as the Fine Arts/PE-Health Specialist for the Deer Valley Unified School District (DVUSD) in Arizona, from which he retired in 2019. After retirement, his passion for music education led him back to the classroom. Duarte returned to the Nashville School of the Arts classroom, where he served as the Director of Bands and Orchestra. Over the years, Duarte has taught high school band, chorus, guitar, orchestra, music humanities, and music theory in Phoenix and Nashville, showcasing his versatility and commitment to a broad spectrum of musical disciplines.

Duarte’s leadership and teaching have led his ensembles to achieve Superior Ratings and national acclaim in various competitions, including Marching, Concert, and Jazz Ensemble categories. Recognized nationally, his Deer Valley Bands took 1st place in the Big Bad Voodoo Daddy Jazz Contest in 2002 and 2006 and earned the national runner-up title in 2003 and 2004. His jazz band performed at the prestigious Monterey Next Generation Jazz Festival in 2006. Also, his band performed at the Midwest Band and Orchestra Clinic in 2006 and the Western International Band Clinic in 2007 as an honor band selected.

Duarte’s strategic initiatives have significantly increased elective arts enrollment in the DVUSD, demonstrating his ability to enhance the quality and accessibility of music education. His efforts have led to a notable rise in middle school arts participation, from 19.3% in 2008 to 33.61% in 2019, showcasing his impact on fostering a vibrant arts culture within the educational system.

Duarte’s philosophy emphasizes aligning personal strengths with professional roles, advocating for a career path that naturally complements an individual’s talents and passions. This approach has guided his successful career and inspires educators and students, demonstrating the profound influence of dedicated teaching and leadership in the arts.

In recognition of his outstanding contributions to music education, Duarte has received numerous awards, including the O.M. Hartsell Excellence in Music Teaching Award by the Arizona Music Educators Association (AMEA) (2005) and the Excellence in Music Administration Award by AMEA (2010). Duarte has also been recognized as Premier Jazz Educator by Sedona Jazz on the Rocks (2006), Teacher of the Year by DVUSD (2007), and Outstanding Jazz Educator Award by the National Band Association (2008). Additionally, Duarte was featured in “Leader of the Band” by Scott Lang in 2011, highlighting his leadership in music education.